Last month, Arizona law enforcement officers stopped a motorist who was allegedly driving aggressively and erratically. According to the police, the driver smelled of alcohol and could not walk without stumbling. Further, there were two young children in the car. The case reflects circumstances of arrests made over the past several months: alleged drunken driving with passengers under the age of 15.
Arizona is known for having harsh drunk driving laws. Penalties for all offenders may include ignition interlock devices (IID), fines, jail time, loss of driver’s license and mandatory treatment. Offenders may also be required to pay for court costs and legal fees. In most cases, those convicted of DUI in Arizona can expect to spend at least 10 consecutive days in significant jail time and nearly $1,000 thousands in fines and fees as well as alcohol classes and a breath machine in your car.
Aggravated DUI With Passengers Under the Age of 15
When children under the age of 15 years old are in the car, a driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) charge automatically becomes a Class 6 felony DUI charge whether it is a first offense or a repeat offense. A felony conviction often brings increased jail prison time, substantial fees and fines and a long-term license revocation. In addition, prosecutors may pursue additional charges that may include child endangerment or child abuse.
It is important to understand the long-term implications of a felony criminal record. With a conviction for aggravated DUI, future options and choices may be limited, especially in areas such as:
- Parenting time
- Gun possession
- Voting rights
- Employment opportunities
If a person is arrested for driving while intoxicated or for aggravated DUI with a passenger under the age of 15, it is imperative to consult with an experienced Arizona DUI attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an Arizona drunk driving lawyer may be able to obtain minimized jail time and reduced or dropped charges.